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Atul Shrivastava, Group CEO and Executive Director, Laqshya Media Group tells us about the organization’s roadmap ahead

Laqshya Media Group is eyeing a 4X increase in revenue, to Rs 2,000 crore in the next 5 years

Atul Shrivastava, Group CEO and Executive Director, Laqshya Media Group tells us about the organization’s roadmap ahead
  • Founded in 1997 as an outdoor agency, Laqshya Media Group has today diversified its offerings to events, digital and experiential marketing.
  • With revenues of Rs 500 crore currently, the organization is eyeing revenues of Rs 2,000 crore in the next 5 years.
  • Atul Shrivastava, Group CEO and Executive Director, Laqshya Media Group tells us about the organization’s roadmap ahead.

Today, travelling to and from our workplaces take up a lot of our time, especially when you live in a crowded metro city. If a recent report by MoveInSync is to be believed, on an average, Indians spend 7% of their day in commuting to their workplaces.

With more and more people spending more time outside their homes, out-of-home (OOH) advertising presents a huge opportunity for brands to come up with larger-than-life communications and hook on the audience with its messaging. It therefore doesn’t come as a surprise that the Indian outdoor industry has been seeing a steady growth of between 10-11% in the past few years. According to Statista, the industry is expected to become worth Rs 5,200 crore by 2024.

The past few years have also seen many new-age brands from OTT and e-commerce spend big bucks on OOH, realizing the potential of the medium.

Laqshya Media Group has been a part of the OOH ecosystem for 20 years now and has worked for an impressive roster of brands over the years that include Maruti, LG, Quikr, Myntra, Shopper Stop, Platinum Guuild, a Tanishq and Flipkart, among others.

We recently caught up with Atul Shrivastava, Group CEO and Executive Director, Laqshya Media Group who tells us that the organization that is right now bringing in Rs 500 crore revenue is eying a revenue of Rs 2,000 crore by 2024-25. He tells us about the organization’s roadmap ahead, its growth strategy, and the role that data and technology will play to make the overall ecosystem more robust and accountable.

Edited excerpts:

Q) 2019 was a year of slowdown for the economy. How was your performance and what are your expectations from 2020?
2019 was a complete roller coaster year. The year was full of surprises and equal shudders. Mega media events like Indian Premier League, the General Elections, and the Cricket World Cup brought some cheer while, there was a bit of cautious spending visible during the onset of Q3. However overall, it was a decent year for us. The growth definitely wasn’t what we expected but we still managed to grow by 15% compared to last year. We are better prepared for 2020 and the year looks promising and we look forward doing some great stuff as the year progresses.

Q) Laqshya Media Group is currently operating at revenues of Rs 500 crore. Where do you want to be in the next few years?
Right now we are operating at Rs 500 crore and we are targeting Rs 2,000 crore revenue by 2024-25. It all starts with a vision, followed by a plan. We have followed the simple steps of firstly identifying the opportunities and then going after them aggressively. This has led the company to diversify into many other verticals like Digital Marketing, Experiential Marketing, Events and creative apart from advertising through every format. The markets are conducive, infrastructure and opportunities are good and all our verticals are doing great work and projects individually. We continue to believe in the ‘One Laqshya‘ philosophy. Our teams across verticals breed the common passion and belief of ‘Business with Ethics’, it is this that makes us different and we will continue to hold on to it as we spread our wings.

Q) Laqshya launched its in-house tool, ‘SHARP’ (Strategic Hyperlocal AI-powered Reach Planner) in 2019. Tell us a bit about how the tool has helped in making your campaigns more effective?
SHARP is a first-of-its-kind state-of-the-art planning tool for measuring the effectiveness and media value of Outdoor campaigns. It’s a tool we have developed in-house that allows brands to target the right audiences with reach or budget as an objective for an OOH campaign. Our clients have benefitted immensely from the science and technology that has gone in all the recent campaigns that we have executed for them. SHARP combines diverse data points involving geo-tagged OOH formats, traffic study by a global research agency, multiple databases to arrive at the current profiles of resident and transit population; panel rating points and various other factors, with data on thousands of sites comprising multiple OOH formats. The OOH tool relies on machine learning to deliver AI-optimized recommendations. In short, with this tool, the days of gut feel is over. What we are giving our clients with this software is a full-fledged and full proof ROI.

Q) What role will data and technology play in taking Indian OOH to the next level?
The future of OOH is only about using the right technology and big data. There’s no dearth to the extent of data available for targeting. The customized level of geo targeting possible is unimaginable. All these and more can be easily executed in the ambit of the rules laid by TRAI on data privacy. Communication would be more impactful and selective with the right use of data and analytics. Digital OOH is anyways driving the OOH growth globally elsewhere. It will surely evolve the Indian landscape too slowly and gradually.

Q) What gives Laqshya an edge over other OOH agencies?
We have always embraced Research and Technology like no one else. Our endeavor to develop SHARP was on the same lines. We believed in addressing the needs of the industry as a whole. The language of ROI that has started with SHARP has been successful in helping marketers realize the potential of OOH and has helped us take a giant leap.

Q) In the last few years, OTT players have been big investors on OOH. Do they continue to invest big? What are the other segments that are making use of OOH?
OTT has invested on OOH and has witnessed the impact it has created in their brand building. It has definitely helped OTT players address their concerns of going mass and geo-targeting. OOH delivers the reach while it also helps geo-fence and create impact towards a niche audience. This is what makes OOH a go-to medium for a lot of OTT players. A lot of newer segments like e-commerce and mobile apps are embracing OOH along with government and political spending like never before but, it is the traditional sectors like real estate and retail that continue to hold the lion’s share.

Q) How are you, as an organization ensuring there is more accountability, since this has been an issue plaguing the industry for a while.
We believe accountability starts from following and adhering to some set practices ourselves. Our MD,Alok Jalan is the Vice Chairman of Indian Outdoor Advertising Association (IOAA) and is very strongly putting across the uniform guidelines that will make processes more transparent. We can expect a lot of consolidation in the industry from the association’s side.

Q) What does the OOH as an industry need to do to make advertisers take them more seriously, and put in more money?
OOH needs to convey the advantage it brings to any marketer- the larger-than-life canvas for a greater reach and an equally possible customized impact. It addresses both these objective of any brands effectively.

Q) How big is the OOH industry in India right now and what is its potential in the next few years?
OOH has been quoted to be somewhere between Rs 3,700-3,900 crore currently. We as a group have a detailed research report that summarizes the overall OOH to be around Rs 5,750 crore and the industry has been growing consistently at an average of around 11% .

Q) What is your vision for Laqshya?
We want Laqshya to be known as an innovative media and communication company. We want creativity, innovativeness and technology to be the company’s ethos.

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